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How to Remove Rust From Stainless Steel Appliances

Remove Rust From Steel Appliances
Remove Rust From Steel Appliances

The rust that forms on home appliances, cars, bridges, and even the Statue of Liberty costs Americans an estimated $276 billion per year! Many people buy stainless steel appliances, thinking they are rust proof, and then meet a nasty surprise when they find rust.

Luckily, when caught early on rust isn’t too hard to remove. Since this can happen to even the most vigilant appliance owner, we’ve put together a guide to help you learn how to remove rust from stainless steel appliances the right way.

Our Tips on How to Remove Rust from Stainless Steel Appliances

What you need:

  • 2 dry, cotton cloth rags
  • White vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Non-scratch scouring pad

First, saturate your scouring pad in white vinegar. Next take a look at your appliance and note the direction of the grain of the stainless steel, then start scrubbing in that same direction.  After scrubbing until the rust isn’t visible, pour warm water on a rag and wipe the surface. With another clean rag, wipe the appliance dry. If more rust becomes visible, repeat the previous steps.

how to remove rust from appliances

What to Avoid

Stainless steel contains iron, silicon, carbon, manganese, nickel, molybdenum, and chromium. When these elements are exposed to oxygen, a thin, invisible layer called chromium oxide is formed. This thin layer is what helps appliances resist stains and rust. It’s when this layer is damaged that rust can start forming. To avoid damaging this layer we recommend staying away from strong household cleaners and overly abrasive cleaning tools. We’ve assembled a list of the worst cleaners for your stainless steel appliance below.

Stay Away from Cleaners that contain:

  • Bleach
  • Fluoride
  • Bromine
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Mineral spirits

It’s also important not to use steel wool or steel brushes since the steel particles from these tools can stick to your stainless steel appliance and begin to rust.

Here are some approved cleaners that are safe for your stainless steel appliances:

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